Attend a public hearing

A District Licensing Committee (DLC) hearing is a legal process similar to a court hearing, but with a chairperson and a panel of appointed members instead of a judge.

Preparing for a hearing

You can find a guide to objections and hearings on Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency website:

Objecting to a licence to sell or supply alcohol

Before a hearing, you must send the District Licensing Committee any written evidence of the claims you or your witness plan to present.

The Police, Medical Officer of Health and Licensing Inspector (the specialist agencies who report on licence applications) will also send their written material in before the hearing. The applicant will receive copies, and will have an opportunity to respond.

The Wellington District Licensing Committee sets deadlines for sending in materials before a hearing. The Committee has set out general guidelines in the document below.

Pre-hearing disclosure of documents (177KB PDF) | Text version (84KB RTF)

The Committee that hears your application might set different deadlines for sending in documents – if this is the case we will inform you of the new dates.

The hearing process

Hearings usually start with the alcohol licence applicant or the applicant's solicitor making their case, giving evidence and calling witnesses in support of the application.

The Police, the Medical Officer of Health and the alcohol licensing inspector may then present their reports, including whether or not they oppose the application.

Next, the objectors have their say. It is not compulsory for objectors to attend or speak at the hearing, however the committee may gain a better understanding of the objection if an objector attends the hearing to speak about their concerns. This will involve each objector outlining their concerns, followed by an opportunity for the chairperson or committee members, the applicant, the Police or the licensing inspector to ask questions of the objector to clarify their concerns.

Practice Note – Hearing Protocols and Procedures (845KB PDF) | Text version (985KB RTF)

Closing statements and decision

The applicant, police and licensing inspector then have an opportunity to make any closing statements.

When the hearing is finished, the committee may reserve its decision. This means it will meet after the hearing to consider the material presented at the hearing and write the decision.

It may take a number of weeks for the decision to be issued.

Stay up to date

  • Hearings schedule: Find out when District Licensing Committee public hearings are scheduled.
  • Email notifications: Subscribe to email alerts with details of recent alcohol licence applications.

Need help?

Alcohol Licensing 
Phone: 04 801 3760